ESL Pro League Season XIV – The Storylines from Group B

August 18, 2021 | 0 | 435| |

ESL Pro League Season XIV is already underway and as the first week of the tournament comes to an end, the teams that are part of group B are getting ready to enter the servers.

Like every other group of the event, the second pack of teams to play are an interesting bunch. Featuring the likes of G2, Virtus.Pro and OG, this group certainly will give fans a show not to be missed.

But exactly what is at stake here? What are the backgrounds for each one of the six teams that compose group B? Let’s take a dive into this group to see what are the storylines behind every squad competing starting Saturday (21st).

COMPLEXITY – Against All Odds

blameFIn-Game Leader1.201.18 @ IEM Cologne 2021
es3tagRifler [support, entry fragger]1.021.02 @ ESL Pro League Season XIII
jksRifler [lurker]1.040.97 @ IEM Cologne 2021
NaToSaphIXStand-in, AWPer, Rifler1.111.03 @ Spring Sweet Spring 2 Regionals
poizonAWPer1.040.93 @ IEM Cologne 2021

If you ask a fan who is the best player in Complexity, one of the more common names you’d get is Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke. After all, the 24-years-old Danish player has been one of the best performers in the entire squad.

Unfortunately, however, Complexity will be playing ESL Pro League Season XIV without him. Due to a wrist injury, Complexity revealed this Monday (16th) that k0nfig will be out of the server for some time. In his place, comes Niels Christian “NaToSaphiX” Sillassen as a stand-in.

A team in the making

Yet, NaToSaphiX isn’t the only new player to Complexity squad, as the team just replaced Will “RUSH” Wierzba with Patrick “es3tag” Hansen. While this happened during the off-season, adding a new player surely adds a toll on any team. The squad certainly will need to adjust themselves to receive the new player, and without a complete roster, that won’t be easy.

As if Benjamin “blameF” Bremer already didn’t had a lot to deal with as the team captain, we can’t forget Complexity past results. The team hasn’t managed to bring the level of results that were expected from them, and ESL Pro League XIV was the place to change that. Of course, k0nfig’s situation will cause expectations for Complexity in this event to be lower. Yet, the lack of achievements and results will start impacting the team morale at some point – if it hasn’t already.

And that’s exactly why Complexity won’t be giving it up. While k0nfig is a key player for the squad, blameF has plenty of strength alongside himself. With the help of the team’s newest player, es3tag, they might have just enough to finish the group stage among the top three. It’s an uphill battle, no doubt, but don’t count Complexity out yet.

FORZE – A Dangerous Last-Minute Call for Group B

almazerRifler1.041.18 @ Domination League Season 2
FL1TRifler [support]1.191.23 @ Domination League Season 2
JerryIn-Game Leader1.081.10 @ Domination League Season 2
KENSIRifler1.051.17 @ Domination League Season 2
zorteAWPer1.121.15 @ Domination League Season 2

If you haven’t kept with the news recently, you might be surprised to see forZe in ESL Pro League XIV. The team got added to the event’s roster last minute, as Renegades wouldn’t be able to get to Europe due to travelling regulations.

While the news disappointed some, it also gave a golden opportunity to Andrey “Jerry” Mekhryakov’s team. The Russian squad has caught some eyes earlier this year after winning Spring Sweet Spring 1, and their latest results aren’t bad at all.

Yet, this is the biggest tournament forZe has played in 2021. It’s their time to show that they can also do damage, like the bigger teams from their region. Of course, we don’t expect forZe to perform on the same level as Gambit, for example, but with Spirit failing to impress in group A, they could steal the spotlights from them.

To make the situation better for forZe, group B is the ideal group for them. With teams like Complexity and OG struggling and being out of momentum, forZe can be the team rounding up the top three that advances forward in the tournament.

G2 – No Match for Them

AmaNEkAWPer0.990.97 @ IEM Cologne 2021
huNter-Rifler1.111.11 @ IEM Cologne 2021
JaCkzRifler [entry fragger]0.931.00 @ IEM Cologne 2021
nexaIn-Game Leader0.990.96 @ IEM Cologne 2021
NiKoRifler1.161.17 @ IEM Cologne 2021

In one side of group B, you have Sinners and forZe, dangerous underdogs with high upset potential. In the other, you have Complexity, OG and Virtus.Pro, three teams facing difficulties in different ways, and not inspiring much confidence overall. On the top of these two sides, there’s G2.

The European squad was showing massive improvements tournament after tournament in the first half of the year. After finally beating Gambit and finishing in second place in IEM Cologne 2021, it’s safe to say that G2 is one of the three best CSGO teams in the world. With Virtus.Pro being the closest team rank-wise to G2 in this group, there’s a major chance that G2 finishes the group stage undefeated.

G2 challenges will start once the playoffs kick off, though. Gambit certainly is eager for a rematch against them, and G2 has a rivalry to settle with Na’Vi before it becomes too one-sided.

However, not a single team is planning to lose to G2 in their group. Virtus.Pro, especially, will have studied the Europeans over and over, and they probably have surprises for them when their match-up come. And this is the dangerous part of being the favorites. Every team will be aiming for G2, and unless they keep their stratbook fresh and don’t fell to complacency, they have some hard games ahead.

OG – Group B’s is Their Opportunity of a Restart

AleksibIn-Game Leader1.020.92 @ IEM Cologne 2021 Play-In
flameZRifler [entry fragger]1.111.01 @ IEM Cologne 2021 Play-In
mantuuAWPer1.141.03 @ IEM Cologne 2021 Play-In
nikoRifler [support]1.000.88 @ IEM Cologne 2021 Play-In
valdeRifler [lurker]1.131.09 @ IEM Cologne 2021 Play-In

OG’s performances across 2021 have been far from great, and IEM Cologne 2021 was a disappointment. To further complicate OG’s situation, it won’t be surprising to see them targeted by the underdogs of the group. As mentioned, forZe and Sinners are way too dangerous especially to a team like OG.

Yet, even with their results not backing OG up, ESL Pro League Season 14 is the perfect place for a comeback, and OG definitely has the means to make it. After all, the trio of Shahar ‘flameZ’ Shushan, Mateusz ‘mantuu’ Wilczewski and Valdemar ‘valde’ Bjørn Vangså is one of the most promising player combinations in CSGO right now.

Moreover, the player break seems to have been quite calm for OG, which should have allowed the team’s captain Aleksi ‘Aleksib’ Virolainen to renew OG’s stratbook. With a refreshed tactical side, and hopefully with mantuu and flameZ performing as expected, OG have great chances to be one of the advancing teams of group B. Leaving Cologne early might’ve been a disappointment, but it could also have worked as a wake-up call for this team. It’s now time to see whether they have wakened, or if OG is unable to reach their potential once again.

SINNERS – Taking the Next Step

beastikIn-Game Leader0.991.11 @ Pinnacle Cup II
NEOFRAGRifler1.191.16 @ Pinnacle Cup II
oskarAWPer1.191.20 @ Pinnacle Cup II
SHOCKRifler1.031.00 @ Pinnacle Cup II
ZEDKORifler1.020.96 @ Pinnacle Cup II

If you are one of the fans that keep an eye on the lower tiers of European competitions, you certainly are aware of Sinners. The Czech squad has been doing fairly well lately, and more recently, they won Pinnacle Cup II, one of the most packed tournaments of that level of competition.

Now, Sinners are heading to ESL Pro League Season 14. The team led by Sebastian “beastik” Daňo now has the chance to prove themselves. They aren’t expected to win against the likes of G2, of course. Instead, Sinners is aiming to beat forZe to solidify their place in the competition and defeat the likes of OG to show that they are ready to step-up as a team.

Easier said than done, though. “Defeating OG” isn’t quite simple as it sounds, and forZe certainly isn’t a dangerous team only for the favorites of group B. Every Sinners’ game will be a challenge for both sides, and at the end of the day, the team on trial are Sinners themselves. The pressure is here, but opportunities like these aren’t easy to come by and beastik is aware of that. No one’s save from Sinners.

VIRTUS.PRO – Expect the Unexpected

busterRifler [lurker], AWPer1.031.03 @ IEM Cologne 2021
JameIn-Game Leader, AWPer1.181.10 @ IEM Cologne 2021
qikertRifler [entry fragger]1.021.06 @ IEM Cologne 2021
SANJIRifler [support, lurker]0.920.80 @ IEM Cologne 2021
YEKINDARRifler [entry fragger], AWPer1.141.12 @ IEM Cologne 2021

If you could use one word to describe Virtus.Pro form, ‘uncertain’, wouldn’t be a wrong answer. The team from the CIS region finished 2020 and started this year on fire, but that fire isn’t burning quite as hot as it once was.

That’s not to say that Virtus.Pro has fallen considerably – far from it. After all, they still are the fifth best team in the world according to the HLTV World Rankings, and they have reached the playoffs of both IEM Summer 2021 and IEM Cologne 2021.

However, it’s hard to ignore VP’s performance in StarLadder CIS RMR. There, the team finished in last place, and this result was due to their inconsistency. Due to the format of the tournament, VP’s inconsistency is much more likely to show up in tournaments like EPL and the SL RMR as it requires them to play against a variety of teams.


And this takes us to VP’s biggest issue, individual inconsistency. At the moment, Virtus.Pro has two key players consistently delivering solid performances, Dzhami ‘Jame’ Ali, and Mareks ‘YEKINDAR’ Gaļinskis. While both players are doing their best, two players alone can’t always carry a team, especially considering Sanjar ‘SANJI’ Kuliev underwhelming recent form. In the past, VP used to count with both Alexey ‘qikert’ Golubev and Timur ‘buster’ Tulepov as two another strong player, but their respective individual levels have taken quite a step down.

At the end of the day, Virtus.Pro will be a very interesting team to watch. The squad has acknowledged its issues, and the player break gave them time to rework their approach to the game. EPL’s format being one of VP’s biggest weaknesses in the recent past will put them on a trial right off the bat. Can Virtus.Pro survive all the scares awaiting them in group B?

ESL Pro League Season XIV Group B starts this Saturday!

If you’re eager to watch the teams from group B playing on ESL PL Season XIV, you won’t have to wait much longer. The next batch of teams will be getting on ESL’s servers this Saturday.

In order to keep up with each match individually, make sure to follow our predictions page! And also make sure to follow our news page in order to keep updated with the latest news about everything esports.

The author

My name is Marcos, I have been following the CSGO pro scene since 2015 but really got into in following games and pro teams in 2016. Used to bet a lot, stopped a bit but never stopped following the esports scene. I'm a student right now so I got a lot of time to keep with it and discover new things.

More articles from MJunior
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x